Hatchell diagnosed with leukemia, taking temporary leave from coaching

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North Carolina women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell is stepping away from her on-the-court coaching duties after being diagnosed with leukemia.

A statement released Monday afternoon by the University said Hatchell’s diagnosis is recent, and she will be undergoing a treatment plan established by a team of doctors from the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center led by oncologist Dr. Pete Voorhees.

“I will remain very much involved with my team and day-to-day operations here at UNC and expect to return to my sideline responsibilities as soon as possible,” Hatchell said in a statement. “My veteran staff and team will be well prepared and meet any challenges until my return. Don’t forget I am a Tar Heel woman!”

Associate head coach Andrew Calder will lead the coaching staff in Hatchell’s absence. Like Hatchell, Calder is entering his 28th season with the Tar Heels this year.

Hatchell was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September, and she is one of only three head coaches in women’s basketball to reach 900 wins. She’s also second in all-time wins with 908.

“Sylvia is a fighter and her enduring spirit will aid her greatly,” said Athletics Director Bubba Cunningham in a statement. “Her staff and players, family and members of the athletics and University community will do what we can to bolster those efforts. Sylvia has been a long-time supporter of the Lineberger Center and is in the best hands possible.”

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